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"To lack a persuasive theory is to lack something crucial"

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Tom Wolfe saw the phrase "To lack a persuasive theory is to lack something crucial" in a New York Times review of an exhibition of realist art. He describes this in "The Painted Word", a book which reveals the Emperor's New Clothes of 20th and 21st century art. In 197?

Nobody can just look any more. There has to be a theory behind the artwork, else it is worthless. And the theory must be explained. However incomprehensibly.

I just do art as a hobby, but I came across a person at my last exhibition who insisted that I needed a theory, else my artworks were just "OK".

He was a small old bloke in a crisp suit who came on the last Sunday of the exhibition and picked me up on a phrase in the leaflet. I say there that all I want to do is make art that talks directly to the mind and the eye, without need for explanation. All that is needed is the image, the title and the observer, a perfect triangle. 

(“Voglio creare un’arte che parli direttamente alla me…